After giving a 3 month notice to vacate, how do I make sure my tenants evacuate legally?

I rented a home and had an extra room so decided to rent it out. My landlord was fine with this. There was no contract so it’s month by month rent. The renters have skyrocked my electric and water bill and after numerous time of asking not to leave things on or use so much water they still have not compiled. In this case I gave them 3 month notice I which they agreed but on the following month didn’t want to pay for the following 3 months so have said they they would leave when they could and not the 3 months. My electric bill is at $600 a month and water is at about $250. My landlord doesn’t want to get involved unless it’s necessary. Is there anything I can do to make sure they are out on time and with me getting into trouble?

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You have to evict them if they do not move out when they are supposed to: only an eviction action through the courts can remove tenants or subtenants. Since they are *your* tenants (i.e. your subtenants) and do not have a landlord-tenant relationship directly with your landlord, the landlord *can't* get involved--the landlord has no grounds to evict your subtenants; only you can do that.
Eviction actions are highly "technical" in that a small error in the asserted grounds for eviction, in the type of notice provided or the length of notice provided, etc. can invalidate the action, resulting in its dismissal and forcing you to start over. You are strongly encouraged to retain a  landlord-tenant attorney to help you, instead of doing this yourself. The lawyer will make sure all technicalities/formalities are complied with, identify all possible grounds for eviction, and bring an eviction action based on all the legitimate reasons to evict. Consult with the lawyer in advance of the move out date, to lay out necessary groundwork and be in position to bring the eviction action at the earliest opportunity.

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